Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)



[order] PSITTACIFORMES | [family] Cacatuidae | [latin] Eolophus roseicapilla | [authority] Vieillot, 1817 | [UK] Galah | [FR] Cacatoes rosalbin | [DE] Rosakakadu | [ES] Cacatua Galah | [NL] Roze Kaketoe | [copyright picture] Noodle Snacks


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Cacatua roseicapilla
Eolophus roseicapilla AU Australia
Eolophus roseicapilla albiceps ec and e to Tasmania
Eolophus roseicapilla kuhli n
Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapilla w and wc


The classification of the Galah was difficult. It was separated in the monotypic genus Eolophus, but the further relationships were not clear. There are obvious morphological similarities between the galah and the white cockatoos that make up the genus Cacatua and indeed the galah was initially described as Cacatua roseicapilla. Early DNA studies allied the galah with the cockatiel or placed it close to some Cacatua species of completely different appearance. In consequence, it was thought that the ancestors of the galah, the cockatiel and Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo diverged from the main white cockatoo line at some stage prior to that group’s main radiation; this was indeed correct except for the placement of the cockatiel. Ignorance of this fact, however, led to attempts to resolve the evolutionary history and prehistoric biogeography of the cockatoos, which ultimately proved fruitless because they were based on invalid assumptions to start with.

Physical charateristics

E.r. roseicapilla: both adults soft pink forehead, crest and crown, with white wash, blending into darker hindneck; deep pink face, neck and underparts; grey wings; grey undertail coverts; pale grey rump. Horn coloured bill. Eye ring grey/white. Eye dark brown in male, red/brown in female. E.r. albiceps: both adults white forehead, crest and crown, with pink bases to feathers, separate from darker pink area behind neck. Eye ring deep pink to dull red. E.r. kuhli: both adults as in albiceps but generally paler in colour; shorter crest peaking on forecrown; noticeable white bordering on feathers below eye; slightly smaller in size.

Listen to the sound of Galah


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Mark Harper

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 35 cm size max.: 36 cm
incubation min.: 30 days incubation max.: 32 days
fledging min.: 42 days fledging max.: 50 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Australasia : Australia. Galahs are found in all Australian states, and are absent only from the driest areas and the far north of Cape York Peninsula. It is still uncertain whether they are native to Tasmania.


Found in variety of areas including woodland, savanna, and cultivated areas; does not occur in dense forest. Up to 1600m (5248 ft).


Galahs rarely reach maturity and breed before their fourth year. A female galah that breeds too early is prone to become egg bound. Galahs usually breed in hollow logs on eucalyptus tree. The galahs will line the nest with eucalypt leaves. Galahs usually lay between 2 to 5 eggs. Both the male and female bird will take turns incubating (sitting on) the eggs. The galah eggs will hatch in approximately 30 days. Again both the male and female galah will take turns brooding and feeding the babies. A parent galah will feed a baby galah by regurgitating food it has eaten prior into the baby?s mouth. After six to seven weeks a baby galah should be able to fly and leave the nest. Its parents will continue to support it for a few more weeks until it can fend and feed itself. Then the parent galahs usually become quite hostile, chasing away and disassociating themselves with their offspring. The juvenile galahs will then join a flock of other juvenile birds until they reach breeding maturity (about 4 years). The galahs will then pair off and the cycle begins again.

Feeding habits

Forages up to 15km (9 mi) from nest site; non-breeding or post breeding birds may go further. Gathers in large, raucous groups with other cockatoos. Mainly feeds on seeds, such as oats and grass, and some insect larvae, berries, buds, flowers and eucalyptus seeds.

Video Galah


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Appears to be very little threat; in fact this species has benefitted from the increase in agriculture in the area, from the additional food; however, there has been some illegal trading.
Galah status Least Concern


The Galah is a sedentary bird

Distribution map

Galah distribution range map

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